Out of the Fire: Burn Patient Airlifted to Receive Specialised Care

Amref Flying Doctors flies injured mother from rural Mandera to Nairobi for treatment

On January 15,  Shoba Sheik Ibrem was preparing a meal for her family at her home in Tacaba village in Mandera County, her three-year-old daughter strapped to her back as she worked. All of a sudden,  Shoba realised that the clothes she was wearing had caught fire.

Shoba ran out of the house screaming as the flames quickly consumed her clothes and began to scorch her body. Relatives rushed to her aid, and as quickly as they could took her to Mandera Referral Hospital. Luckily, her daughter had not been harmed by the fire, but Shoba sustained third degree burns from her neck downwards.

Health workers at the hospital did their best to treat Shoba, but her injuries were too severe – after five days she showed little improvement. Hearing of her plight, a member of the Mandera County Council, Mr Mohamedin Mohamed, called Amref Flying Doctors for help.

Flight nurse Clement Mburu and Generieve O'farrel, a volunteer doctor from Ireland, attend to Sheik during the flight back to Nairobi

Flight nurse Clement Mburu and Generieve O`Farrel, a volunteer doctor from Ireland, attend to Shoba during the flight back to Nairobi

Mandera is located in the arid and remote North-Eastern Region of Kenya, bordering the Republic of Somalia, 1136km north of the capital, Nairobi. A short while after the call was received at Amref Flying Doctors Control Centre at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport on January 21, an emergency team was airborne for Mandera. After an hour on the ground, Shoba, accompanied by her brother and sister, were flown to Nairobi. At the Wilson Airport she was transferred to a ground ambulance and taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital, where she is receiving treatment.

Amref Flying Doctors regularly undertakes charity evacuations in partnership with rural medical facilities, targeting patients in serious medical condition who cannot afford the cost of crucial air transfer to Nairobi for specialised medical attention.

Earlier this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched emergency air rescue and ground ambulance services to be provided by Amref Flying Doctors for Kenya’s civil servants and members of the disciplined forces. The emergency services are part of an enhanced medical insurance package offered by the National Health Insurance Fund to civil servants and the disciplined forces across the country

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